Hi there! I ran the inaugural Florence Half Marathon with Pink Buffalo Racing, and am currently still in Florence (Oregon) at Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters as I type this. I am SO BAD about writing race recaps, so I figure if I don’t let myself drive home til it is written then that is pretty good motivation :).
My friend Michele, who is also a blogger (AKA Kitchen Bitch, check it out!) and runner let me know about this race with Pink Buffalo Racing, a local racing company based out of Eugene. I was technically suppose to run 18 miles on my long run this week, and, as per usual, I am once again behind in mileage (ugh). I had been reallly good about following the training regimen, and have hit a rough patch these past three weeks. My knee started “talking” to me and I have been using that as a (poor) excuse. Really I think I have just been tired. And busy? Or slightly self-sabotaging. Probably a combo. Anyways, I digress, that is for a different post. Can I just say– Marathon training can be really effing hard sometimes.
So anyways, I took Michele up on her offer and registered! I went into it with some lofty goals. Although I have been slacking on the runs lately, I knew I would definitely be well rested, injury free, and have more mental training this summer than I ever have before. (arguably more then 50% of the battle. I would definitely 100% agree with that argument). If you are interested in building mental toughness for endurance, definitely check out my review of Running Within by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott.
Goal A was 1:59:59
Goal B was under 2:05
Goal C was under 2:10
I can proudly say that I missed my C goal by 1:57 seconds, lol, coming in at 2:11:57. I am still really happy with this time for a few reasons. I am prettttty sure it is a PR (I think my fastest half time is like 2:15-ish). And it was wayyyyyy more hilly than I had anticipated. And despite being a race on the Oregon Coast in late September, it was actually very warm out.
So yeah, I definitely felt like I could hold my head up high and am proud of the race I ran. Shall I get into it then?
The day before…
I took Barley to the dog park and whacked some tennis balls for him for like an hour and a half :). I wanted to do something active, but keep my legs fresh. Now that I think about it, that is probably why my arms are sore today (I was pumping my arms speed walking up a few hills but not THAT hard, lol). After the park we went to a Brewery with a friend to watch the Duck game, where I simultaneuously hydrated and carb loaded (beer counts, right?).
I got home and took an hour and a half nap. Woo! Later I laid out my race day outfit and packed my backpack with the change of clothes, computer, etc, so I wouldn’t have to think about anything in the very early morning.
Cute, right? 🙂
I of course got very little sleep. I basically tossed and turned til like 1:30 in the morning and my alarm was set for 4:45 am. Awesome. lol. Thankful for that nap. Rather than freak out that I wasn’t sleeping, I tried to visualize a positive day and meditate and tell myself I was still getting rest, even if I wasn’t unconscious.
Picked Michele up at 5:30 and we drove the hour and twenty minutes west, sipping coffee and chatting about life. I ate a banana and spoonful of peanut butter and had plenty of time to use the bathroom. It was actually a really cool starting location, just a park but IDK, the feeling of fresh coastal air is just like nothing else.
I didn’t want to race with my phone since I was going music-less, so I left it in the car. This resulted in no photos of the race, but we took a prerace selfie (how dope is my christmas cookie fleece snuggie-hoodie thing? Thanks hubby, kept me warm before the race). I also snapped some photos of my race result ticket afterwards.
The course was basically rolling hills all the way throughout. I had listened the day before to the Runner’s World Show Episode 21: Run Your Best Marathon and it had some great, great advice that applies to half marathons, too! The best piece of advice IMO? “Pass Noone.” It is all too tempting to go fast in the beginning, but for the first time I really did my best not to pass anyone, aka conserve my energy. Once I settled into my pace at mile one, I noticed myself wanting to speed up but I forced myself to just dial it back and conserve my energy. I am so glad I did this. There were a few instances where I started to go to a negative headspace, thinking about the full marathon in 7 weeks, but I would cut these thoughts off by replacing with a mantra or thinking about some of the quotes that inspire me to keep running. The one quote I thought about multiple times:
Once you make the decision that you will not fail, your heart and body will follow. -Kara Goucher
I am really glad that I kept pushing even though I knew I wouldn’t meet my “A goal” pretty much by mile 5. I was definitely really tired after mile 12, lacking motivation to push. But I had kept up the pace and was so close, so I just sucked it up and slogged it in without being too sluggish about it. :).
Now I feel like I want to really try for a sub 2 hour half. I think on a flatter course it could be done!
After the race we enjoyed some much deserved cider (they were serving cider instead of beer at the finish line). There was lots of great post race food options! salad, chips, salsa, chowder, tuna, pb, toast, chips, bananas… they really had quite the shmorgousboard (how does one spell that?). I just had a spoonful of pb and ciderrrr :).
They had the option of showering at the local middle school, but I was like “I think I want to jump in the ocean…” and Michele and her husband being the badasses they are were totally down! So ya… We took an ice bath in the pacific ocean. It was so fricken fun, and frigid, and awesome :).
After the polar plunge and admiring the dogs enjoying the beautiful beach, we were HUNGRY. We got lunch in old town Florence. I had a salmon sandwich with fries, and it was pretty satisfying.
We then proceeded to admire the views of the Siuslaw river, sunbath and almost fall asleep on the public benches.
“The End” 🙂 ❤